No room for Cooper at the Waratahs
Sydney - There is no room at the Waratahs for Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper
and he would struggle to get into the side in any case, assistant coach Daryl
Gibson said on Tuesday.
Gibson, who will take over from Michael Cheika as head coach next season,
gave short shrift to local media reports saying Cooper might make a move to
Sydney after the Queensland Reds ended negotiations over a new contract on
"It's an interesting one, a bit of just trying to join the dots, I
guess," the former All Black told reporters.
"Quade's a wonderful player, don't get me wrong, I'd love for him to be
part of the Waratahs at some stage, he'd be a wonderful addition.
"But we're full, we've got salary cap issues and I think he'd be
struggling to find a spot in our team."
Bernard Foley will play at flyhalf when the reigning Super Rugby champions
meet the Highlanders in the playoff semi-finals on Saturday, while inside
centre Kurtley Beale has also occupied the number 10 shirt for the Waratahs and
Beale is out of contract at the end of the season along with Wallabies
fullback Israel Folau, but Gibson said he thought they would both be around
"I think both Kurtley and Israel are making positive noises about
staying," Gibson added. "We hope in the next two to three weeks we
can announce something regarding them."
Beale has a more immediate problem with a quadricep injury sustained two weeks
ago threatening to rule him out of Saturday's contest at the Sydney Football
"He is due to run on Thursday, he has obviously been doing a lot of
rehabilitation and provided he passes that fitness test, he'll be available to
play," said Gibson.
"It was a two to three week injury, so time's against us but he's going
to give it a go."
Matt Carraro filled in at centre in the final match of the regular season
against Queensland despite a broken thumb and Gibson expects him to be fit to
stand in for Beale again.
Wallabies wing Rob Horne, who missed the last two matches of the season
after being banned for a spear tackle, is also struggling with a calf problem
but Gibson thinks he too will be able to play against the Highlanders.
Cooper has already signed a pre-agreement with European champions Toulon and
despite the Australian Rugby Union's desire for him to stay, will head to
France if he cannot find a Super Rugby team.